APO WHANG OD AND HER TRADITIONAL WAY OF TATTOOING

Apo Whang Od
A lady named Apo Whang Od (locals pronounced it as Fang Od) is 98-years old and considered as the oldest mambabatok, from the Butbut tribe, in Buscalan, Kalinga, Philippines. She is petitioned to be considered as the country’s National Living Treasure. The tattoos on her skin are proof how powerful she was during her time.

Whang Od
There are several ways of tattooing around the world, depending on their geographical feature and culture. In the Northern part of the Philippines, in Buscalan, Kalinga, they call it Batok. It is an ancient/tribal form of marking (tattooing) a warrior after a successful combat against other tribes and significant deeds for the ladies. Photos above were the first 5 days.


Apo Whang Od 2020
Our tattoo session, few of us used just one thorn, but no one got an infection. According to my research, there were instances where others tattoo got infected. But, according to the residents, Whang Od is using some sort of prayer or something, I don’t know, as a protection.

Apo Whang Od tattoo design
It is simple to take care a Batok. Proper cleaning and disinfecting is a must! I used Petroleum Jelly in every after cleaning, for moisturizing purposes. Read our Kalinga Adventure here: WhangOd